By Ian Madover
Hi, my name is Ian and I use a pocketbook.
That’s right, a pocketbook. I might even refer to it as a purse sometimes…I’ve even been known to refer to it as a clutch. Yes, true – it is a man bag, but I have no problem referring to it with one of the typical names associated with what a woman carries. Nowhere in either definition for purse or pocketbook found in the Merriam Dictionary does it refer to women…
Definition of PURSE
1 a (1) : a small bag for money (2) : a receptacle (as a pocketbook) for carrying money and often other small objects
Definition of POCKETBOOK
1 a flat typically leather folding case for money or personal papers that can be carried in a pocket or handbag
There was a time not too long ago that if you were a man, there was a major stigma attached to carrying a purse. But now as you look around the streets of major cities like New York and Los Angeles, many men are wearing them with pride today. In major stores from Barney’s to Prada, men can find stylish, yet masculine pocketbooks to carry their things around with them all day.
Being a patient of Dr. Fisch’s not only did we discuss it when I brought my purse to my first appointment with him, but the other day as I left his office, we noticed another one of his patient’s carrying one. So, it got Dr.Fisch and I thinking…
So, here I am writing this article standing up for the rights of all men – gay, straight, bi-sexual, non-committed, to carry a purse and be damn proud while wearing it! Don’t we as men, carry just as much junk as women do – in some cases actually more. For me personally, I have a card case for my credit cards,
money clip with money, my phone, business cards, glasses, sunglasses (in warm months), a pen and a small recording device so I don’t forget things. Now, can you imagine for a minute, if I had to carry that in my pockets of my jeans? I would either look like a freak or I actually wouldn’t be able to walk. So, now I have a convenient, neat and stylish way to carry everything I need for the day or night.
Yes, it is true, that I am at often times asked by my wife to carry her lipstick or phone for her when we go out so she doesn’t actually have to carry her pocketbook. Isn’t it funny that the person who is “supposed” to by cultural standards carry the bag, takes the first opportunity to not carry one, at the very first chance she gets? I just think it is about time we lose the association of femininity or sexuality when it comes to men carrying bags, and begin to shift our attention to them being more practical and convenient.
I do realize that more and more stores and designers are making them, but I’m talking about a bigger cultural shift. I’m talking about pocketbooks for men not being a joke anymore. I mean, take me for instance, I am a married guy with 3 kids living on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, with a bit more fashion sense than the average married guy, but my pocketbook is still the focal point of many conversations. What about the stuffier business man who could never think of carrying one based on the amount of ridicule that he would get from fellow employees when he goes to grab lunch with his pocketbook over his shoulder.
To that point, I think the problem really lies in the minds of men. This is truly a gender problem. It is us men, who find the humor and weirdness with carrying a pocketbook. So, I hope that in writing this article, men out there will read this and change their mind and maybe go out and buy one, or think twice about ribbing someone who has one.